Dr. Jill McCabe, the wife of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, is a frequent target of President Donald Trump and Republicans in their attacks on McCabe. On February 14, after CBS released a preview of an interview Andrew McCabe gave to “60 Minutes” about Trump, the president tweeted about her.
“Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax – a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won,” Trump tweeted. “Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign – he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Jill McCabe is a pediatrician and ran for office in Virginia in 2015 as a Democrat. She lost the state senate election, but did receive campaign contributions from a political action committee run by then-Governor Terry McAuliffe, an ally of the Clintons. McAuliffe and his PAC gave money to help fund the campaigns of several Democrats in a bid to take control of the state house. The money did not come from the Clintons. Andrew McCabe has denied accusations of bias against the president and Republicans that have arisen because of his wife’s campaign.
Here’s what you need to know about Andrew McCabe’s wife Jill McCabe:
1. Jill McCabe, an ER Pediatrician, Had No Political Experience Before Running for the Virginia State Senate in 2015
In 2015, Jill McCabe was a Democratic candidate for Virginia State Senate in the 13th District.
The Democratic primary for that seat was held on June 9, 2015, and during this primary, she ran unopposed.
“I’m running for Senate because I am inspired by the idea of making a greater impact in our community,” said Jill McCabe when she announced her run for office in 2015. “Healthcare, public policy and business are intersecting now more than ever. I believe that my experience as a health professional, a working mother and an education leader have helped prepare me to tackle the challenges facing the Commonwealth today. From affordable healthcare to full-day kindergarten, we have a responsibility to give our children the very best Virginia has to offer.”
In the general election, McCabe lost the race against incumbent Republican State Senator Dick Black by a margin of 25,898 to 23,544.
“I am disappointed with the outcome tonight. I congratulate @SenRichardBlack on his victory,” Jill McCabe said on Election Day on Twitter. “Thank you to all of my supporters.
McCabe has not run for office again since then.
When Jill McCabe ran for office, she did not have any political experience. She had worked as a primary care pediatrician, and most recently she has been a pediatric emergency physician.
During the election, McCabe’s opponent, Dick Black, faced some criticism when he mocked McCabe for not having political experience. During the election, he tweeted a graphic showing his experience side-by-side with his opponent’s, with Black listing “doctor and mother” on McCabe’s side as if this should not be considered real work.
McCabe proudly embraced the label of non-politician during the election.
“Jill is a pediatrician, not a career politician,” her website said. “As a doctor and medical administrator, she has devoted her time and energy to improving the lives of all those under her care. In the hospital, Jill solves problems by listening to patients, analyzing data, and weighing the risks and benefits of every potential solution. Rather than shy away from challenging situations, Jill makes difficult decisions every day in order to advance the interests of the patients and families who place their trust in her. As our state senator, she will continue to devote herself to ensuring that your interests come first.”
On her website, Jill also said that she knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was 5. McCabe graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1994. McCabe has been the vice president of medical staff at Inova Loudon Hospital since 2014 and the medical director of pediatric ED and hospitalist services at Commonwealth Emergency Physicians since 2013.
She has also been an associate in the pediatric emergency department at Inova Loudon Hospital, a clinical instructor in pediatrics at Georgetown Medical School and chairman of the pediatrics department at Inova Loudon Hospital.
2. She Spoke Out After President Trump Attacked Her on Twitter
In April 2018, Jill McCabe spoke out about attacks by President Trump on her and her family in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.
“I am an emergency room pediatrician and an accidental politician — someone who never thought much about politics until I was recruited to run for state office after making a statement about the importance of expanding Medicaid,” she wrote. “That decision — plus some twisted reporting and presidential tweets — ended up costing my husband, Andrew, his job and our family a significant portion of his pension my husband had worked hard for over 21 years of federal service. For the past year and a half of this nightmare, I have not been free to speak out about what happened. Now that Andrew has been fired, I am.”
She said about Trump, “To have my personal reputation and integrity and those of my family attacked this way is beyond horrible. It feels awful every day. It keeps me up nights. I made the decision to run for office because I was trying to help people. Instead, it turned into something that was used to attack our family, my husband’s career and the entire FBI. Nothing can prepare you for what happens when your life is turned upside down by current events. Nothing prepares you for conversations you have to have with your teenage children. Nothing prepares you for the news crews staking out your house, your back yard, your place of business. Nothing prepares you for the fear you feel every time you receive a package from a stranger.”
In his book, set to be published in late February 2019, Andrew McCabe wrote that Trump called his wife a “loser,” according to NBC News. According to an excerpt published by The Atlantic, that occurred during a phone call in which Trump turned on the then-deputy director of the FBI:
Toward the end of the conversation, the president brought up the subject of my wife. Jill had run unsuccessfully for the Virginia state Senate back in 2015, and the president had said false and malicious things about her during his campaign in order to tarnish the FBI. He said, How is your wife? I said, She’s fine. He said, When she lost her election, that must have been very tough to lose. How did she handle losing? Is it tough to lose?
I replied, I guess it’s tough to lose anything. But she’s rededicated herself to her career and her job and taking care of kids in the emergency room. That’s what she does.
He replied in a tone that sounded like a sneer. He said, “Yeah, that must’ve been really tough. To lose. To be a loser.”
In her op-ed, Jill McCabe wrote, “No matter what the path ahead, I have faith that our family will get through this. Despite everything, we are closer than ever. Andrew and I have amazing children and a support network that knows who we truly are. We will not allow ourselves to be defined by a false narrative. While I have no intention of running for office again, I believe in what my campaign stood for, and I still hope we can see our way to Medicaid expansion in Virginia. The patients who inspired me to run continue to come to the ER every day, and they need our help.”
3. During Her Campaign, She Promised to Fight for Women’s Issues, Including ‘Healthcare Decisions’
During the course of her 2015 campaign, Jill McCabe promised to stand up for women while in office.
“Jill knows that when women earn less than they deserve, it affects their entire family,” her website said. “That’s why she’ll fight to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. She’ll also work to keep politicians out of women’s healthcare decisions. As a doctor, she knows that these decisions should be made between women and medical professionals.”
Her top promise, however, was a more local one: to reduce traffic congestion and gridlock.
McCabe was accused by her opponent of being in favor of late-term abortions; this claim earned a Pants on Fire rating from PolitiFact, as McCabe only said she was in favor of late-term abortions when the life of the mother is at risk.
4. The Political Action Committee of Terry McAuliffe, a Hillary Clinton Ally, Donated to Her Campaign
On December 23, 2017, President Trump tweeted about McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, receiving donations from supporters of Clinton.
“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump tweeted.
He added in a second tweet, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”
It is true that Jill McCabe, who ran for a seat in the Virginia State Senate in 2015 received donations from Democrats, including those associated with then-Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally. But the contributions were not made during the Clinton investigation, as Trump said on Twitter, but while Andrew McCabe was in an unrelated role in the FBI. It is not illegal or against FBI rules for the spouse of an FBI employee to receive campaign contributions.
McAuliffe’s PAC gave about $500,000 to Jill McCabe’s campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal.
After this report came out, some took issue with the fact that Andrew McCabe was FBI deputy director, meaning he would be involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, when his wife had received donations from one of Hillary Clinton’s allies. However, he was not promoted to deputy director until after his wife’s campaign had already ended.
The FBI said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal that McCabe “played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind. Months after the completion of her campaign, then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to Deputy, where, in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.”
President Donald Trump first raised the issue of the nearly $700,000 in contributions given to McCabe’s wife during a campaign stop in Florida on two occasions in October 2016.
“One of the closest people to Hillary Clinton, with longstanding ties to her and husband — the closest person, I can tell you that … gave more than $675,000 to the campaign of the wife of a top FBI official who oversaw the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s illegal email server,” Trump said at the Sanford rally, according to Politifact. “In other words, the man who was in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton accepted essentially from Hillary Clinton $675,000 that went to his wife.”
“Never happened before. Never happened. Not in this country’s history,” Trump said. “This is a disgrace. And she shouldn’t be allowed to run for president. She shouldn’t be allowed. She’s a crook.”
According to Politifact, the timing of contributions to McCabe’s wife do not line up with the timing of the Clinton investigation:
Trump is correct that hefty donations were given from a Clinton ally to a candidate whose husband was an FBI official … At the time of the contribution, the candidate’s husband was not directly involved in the FBI probe of Clinton’s email server, according to the FBI. The bureau says that by the time he had some oversight role in the Clinton investigation, the election involving his wife had been over for three months. Meanwhile, the decision not charge Clinton was a recommendation made by the director of the FBI. Trump’s statement contains a small element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a completely different impression. We rate it Mostly False.
In March 2017, a Fox News report raised the question of whether Andrew McCabe failed to disclose the contributions in documents he filed with the Office of Government Ethics. He did not disclose his wife’s salary or those contributions in financial disclosure forms in July 2016. The FBI said in a statement that the form was in compliance with “applicable laws and regulations,” issuing a statement to Fox News:
The rules instructing filers how to complete the OGE 278e form are published by the independent Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in a document titled ‘The Public Financial Disclosure Form (July 2016).’ The form does not require that an employee spouse’s salary be disclosed; only the employer name and type of income required. Nor does the form require or contain a line for campaign contributions, which are not considered income. Rules governing campaign donations are overseen by the Federal Election Commission.
Each form submitted by an FBI employee to the OGE is certified by FBI’s chief ethics officer, who heads the Office of Integrity and Compliance. Mr. McCabe consulted with this office upon his wife’s decision to run for political office.”
But some still questioned whether it was ethical to leave the information about his wife off the document.
“If it’s not required, then why is there a spot on the form for spouse’s income?” retired FBI agent Jeff Danik said in an interview with Fox News. “Isn’t it particularly convenient that loopholes in the ethics law are used to eliminate reporting hundreds of thousands of donated dollars benefiting the spouse of one of the most powerful FBI executives, while at the same time those laws demand that every dime in earnings on a minor stock account be disclosed? That hardly seems transparent.”
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Jill McCabe wrote:
In thinking about running, one of my first concerns was Andrew and his job at the FBI, where he was the assistant director in charge of the Washington field office. I said to Andrew, “If you think this is going to be a problem for you professionally, even if it’s allowed, I won’t do it.”
He consulted with the ethics experts at the FBI and committed to follow their advice. We tried to go even beyond what the rules required — Andrew kept himself separate from my campaign. When the kids and I went door-knocking, he did not participate; he wouldn’t even drive us. He could have attended one of my fundraisers but never did. One day he put on a campaign T-shirt so we could take a family picture and share it with my proud parents. You may have seen it — it seems to have taken on a weird life of its own — but that was it, just a family picture at a swim meet.
Meanwhile, my campaign received funding from the state Democratic Party and the governor’s PAC — on par with what other candidates in competitive races on both sides of the aisle received. All those contributions were publicly reported. And of course, again, Clinton’s emails never came up — if they had, I would have found that alarming, immediately reported it and likely pulled out of the campaign. I know enough from being married to Andrew for 20 years to know what is right and what is wrong.
In January 2017, Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General of the Department of Justice, announced he would be looking into whether McCabe should have been recused from the Hillary Clinton email case. In April 2018, Politico reported that Horowitz completed his investigation and referred McCabe to the U.S. Attorneys Office for possible prosecution.
“DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz released a report last week concluding that McCabe lacked candor under oath on multiple occasions while discussing his decision to authorize media disclosures ahead of the 2016 election regarding ongoing investigations involving 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. McCabe has denied any wrongdoing,” Politico wrote.
An attorney for McCabe said in a statement, “Although we believe the referral is unjustified, the standard for an IG referral is very low. We have already met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Bromwich added. “We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration, the US Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”
5. She & Andrew Live in Virginia With Their Teenaged Daughter & Son
Jill and Andrew McCabe have two teenaged children, a son and a daughter. They live in Virginia. Andrew and Jill McCabe have been together since college. They met as sophomores at Duke University.
Jill McCabe told Lenny Letter that during the election, she woke up at 4:20 every morning in order to take care of her kids.
“I usually wake up at 4:20 during the week because my son’s a swimmer and he swims from five to seven,” she said. “I get him up and get him there or in the carpool. I also find that’s the time of day I can catch up on what’s happened overnight. It’s a weird job working as an administrator of an ER. Early morning is a good time to connect with the night-shift people.”
McCabe added that although she and her husband are very busy, they “try to squeeze in 30 minutes of check-in time with the kids, talking at the dinner table.”
After Andrew McCabe was fired from the FBI, a GoFundMe was started to raise money for his family and his legal defense. The account raised more than $500,000, according to The Washington Post. McCabe said in a statement that the donations left him stunned and grateful.
“Hopefully our efforts, fueled by this incredible support, will encourage others to stand up for themselves, and the truth, as well,” McCabe said. “It is not lost on me that each contribution reflects not just someone’s well wishes, but also their acknowledgment that something in this situation is not fair or just.”